January 12, 2010

Ladbrokes CEO Chris Bell to go

Ladbrokes is seeking a new chief executive, Chris Bell having decided to step down this year after almost two decades at the British bookmaker.

Bell, who joined Ladbrokes in 1991, will leave the British bookmaker in the summer.

Ladbrokes chairman Peter Erskine said: “Chris Bell has made an invaluable contribution to the growth and development of Ladbrokes during his 20 years with the company, nine-years as chief executive.

“It has been agreed between the board and Chris that this is an appropriate time to seek new leadership for the business. The Board is currently engaged in the search for a new chief executive to fully capitalise on Ladbrokes’ brand strength and position the company for a new era of profitable growth.”

Bell joined Ladrbokes in 1991 from drinks company Allied Domecq and became managing director in 1995. He became chief executive when Ladbrokes was split from the Hilton International hotels group in February 2006, after serving as chief executive of Ladbrokes Worldwide.

Bell has been criticised over the past 12 months for overseeing a difficult period that included a heavily-discounted rights issue in October last year that led to a wave of short-selling of Ladbrokes stock. He took the decision to move the Ladbrokes online sports book offshore to Gibraltar in November after years of lobbying the UK government over gambling taxes.

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